Dog in White

Photo by Marliese Streefland on Unsplash

The Dog in White is an “invited” volunteer position at Nosework Trials and Nosework Specialty Trials. Atlas has been honored several times by being invited to be the Dog in White.

The role is simple. The Dog in White handler team gets to run all the elements after odor is placed and before the trial element begins. The CO (Certifying Official) watches the Dog in White run the element and, based on that experience decides whether to keep the odor placements where they are or if they might need to be moved.

The Dog in White also helps the CO determine the element’s run time.

Based on my experiences, it’s fun (and a little intimidating) to run the Dog in White. You run the element just as you would if you were trialing. It’s a blind search and you have to cover the rooms or containers or vehicles or exterior just like you would if trialing.

The CO will sometimes offer suggestions and even guidance if the Dog in White hasn’t found the hides as they expected. It’s based on this that the placements are sometimes changed.

Each time I’ve been the Dog in White volunteer, I’ve learned how to be a better handler both from the experience itself and from the comments the CO has offered.

If asked to be Dog in White, I highly recommend you take the opportunity. And, in the past, in addition to being Dog in White, I’ve also served as a volunteer in other capacities. It’s a full day, but so gratifying to get to play the game and watch others play it, too!

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